Lorna Seilstad – Story Behind the Story – Part 1 of 2

Shannon here: Historical Romance author, Lorna Seilstad shares her inspiration for The Heart of Texas, her novella included in the Seven Brides for Seven Texans collection. Comment or answer the question at the end of any post dated Dec 29 – Jan 2 to enter the drawing for a copy. Deadline: Jan 14th, 11:59 pm central time. Be sure and enter the drawing for a loaded Kindle Fire. Authors – Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Keli Gwyn, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad, and Erica Vetsch are giving away fourteen of their previously published books. Details below. Here’s Lorna:

The Story Behind the Story for “The Heart of Texas”

I am so excited to share an exciting new romance collection with you! I have been joined by six FABULOUS authors, and together we’ve created a group of stories that we think you are going to LOVE!

Handsome, courageous, manly heroes! Check!

Intelligent, brave, resourceful heroines! Check!

Plots to stir your mind and your pulses! Check!

An interfering, well-meaning, strong-willed old man!  WHAT?

Introducing the 7 Brides for 7 Texans Romance Collection. When Erica Vetch asked me to join the six other authors for the Seven Brides for Seven Texans novella collection, I was a little nervous. Yes, I’d written six novels for Revell, but they’d each been around 90,000 words. Could I write a 25,000 word story?

But I was in for a surprise. Not only could I do it. I could do it and I could find out that I loved it. That’s the way God does things. He sends us little surprises along the way.

Which brings me to my topic today — the story behind the story. It’s a story of God working in a way that only He can.

I hadn’t chosen an exact town for the “The Heart of Texas” story to be set in, and I’d written over half of it. Unlike most of the stories in the book, mine wouldn’t be set in Hartsville since Chisholm was away from home on Texas Ranger duties. 

I knew the location of the story had to meet certain criteria to fit what I’d written. It needed to be a town that was around in 1874. It had to be a town large enough to have things like stores and a saloon. The area needed to be hilly and be a place where bluebonnets would grow. It needed to have a river or large spring of some kind. I needed it to be a hub for area ranches, and it had to be within a week’s riding distance of the Hart ranch.

Remember, I had already named my story “The Heart of Texas.” As I’m looking through towns that were around in mid to late 1800s, I happened upon Brady City. Something about it stood out to me. I did some additional investigation and found out it fit all of my criteria from rolling vistas of bluebonnets to the wide Brady Creek.

Then, God made me smile. I looked up the town’s history and discovered Brady City is called “the heart of Texas” because it is the geographical center of the state of Texas.

What a sweet surprise!

About Lorna: Lorna Seilstad brings history back to life using a generous dash of humor. She is a Carol Award finalist and the author of the Lake Manawa Summers series and the Gregory Sisters series. When she isn’t eating chocolate, she teaches women’s Bible classes and is a 4-H leader in her home state of Iowa. She and her husband have three children. Learn more about Lorna at www.lornaseilstad.com.

About the book – Seven Brides for Seven Texans: Patriarch of the Hart family, George Washington Hart isn’t getting any younger. He’s got seven strapping sons, and not a one of them has had the decency to marry and produce an heir. It is time for George to meddle. He will divide his massive ranch in the Texas Hill country, the 7-Heart, among his sons with the proviso that each one marry and settle on the land within the next calendar year. The boys, ranging in age from 23-34 and named after famous Texans, are resistant to the idea of settling down, but they’ll be blamed if they’ll lose their inheritance! Each sets about finding a bride in his own way, and in the end, each finds love deep in the heart of Texas.

Drawing for a Loaded Kindle Fire

Be sure to go to http://7bridesfor7texans.blogspot.com/ to enter the Rafflecopter drawing for a loaded Kindle Fire. We seven authors (Amanda Barratt, Susan Page Davis, Keli Gwyn, Vickie McDonough, Gabrielle Meyer, Lorna Seilstad, and Erica Vetsch) are giving away fourteen of our previously published books.

Question for Readers: When was the last time you received a surprise or when you surprised someone? Do you like surprises? If so, what kinds are your favorites? 

Come back Jan 3rd for Lorna’s Q & A with Chisolm!

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12 Responses to “Lorna Seilstad – Story Behind the Story – Part 1 of 2”

  • Shelia Hall says:

    i was surprised Christmas when i received a hand knitted scarf from a friend that i had since high school that I had lost touch with.

  • Linda Moffitt says:

    I haven’t received many surprises. My Last one was that My last child was a girl instead of a 3rd boy. I do like them though. This book sounds Awesome. I keep hearing about and seeing it. Thanks for sharing on your blog.

  • I do enjoy surprises, but it’s hard for my mom to surprise me because I’m a snoop! 😀 BAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I enjoy surprising other’s more than being surprised. 🙂

    Many Blessings and Happy New Year!
    Amada (a.m.a.th.a)
    amada_chavezATyahooDOTcom

  • Alecia says:

    hubby just made me coffee without me asking for it…I’d say that was a very happy surprise!!
    I love some surprise…but not always
    I definitely have more fun surprising others 🙂

    Happy new year
    Cherishedbyalecia@gmail.com

  • Welcome Lorna!

    I’m good at ruining surprises. Whenever my husband tries to surprise me, I stumble upon it. He’s gotten me twice. Once with a laptop he wrapped, but didn’t put under the tree. It stayed hidden at my parents until they brought it to our house when it was time for our gift exchange. We’d unwrapped all of our presents and then he handed me my final one. I had no clue.

    The second time was for our 27th anniversary. He surprised with a vow renewal and reception at our church. It was after a typical Sunday morning service and again I had no clue. He even got family and friends to come who have their own churches. And covered it all on this awesome video he was going to show. It turned out to be a video of pictures of us followed by the ceremony.

    The surprise I didn’t like. His family members surprised us with a visit from out of state. I was so glad they came and so glad to see them. But I’d have liked some warning. We had just torn down a wall in our house and it was a disaster.

  • Patty says:

    In my family when it comes to gifts, we aren’t big on surprises. What a birthday comes around we usually take each other shopping so we know the person is getting something they want and like.
    When I got married I found out that my husband is not like that at all. He loves to surprise a person. He laughs at our gift giving habits.
    Just a few days ago he surprised me with the roses. He did that often when we were dating but I hadn’t gotten any recently, so it was a lovely surprise.

  • I do not like surprises at all! I hate being the centre of attention and I have to have time to process the fact. I don’t even like things like birthday parties for me. One surprise I loved though, was when my family gave me a trip to New Hampshire to visit friends! That’s been six years ago and I still remember that time as a highlight of my life!
    I’d love to be entered to win Seven Brides. Thanks for the chance

  • Donna Brookmyer says:

    Our family was surprised this Christmas by one of my nephews coming home for Christmas. He had not been home at Christmas for over 15 years. Most surprises are ok to me except when there is a large crowd and I’m the one being surprised. I like to surprise others better than to be surprised myself. I’m looking forward to reading this collection of stories.

  • Cathy says:

    I really prefer to not be the center of attention but instead be the one planning or assisting with the surprise for someone else!

  • Kim H in GA says:

    Several years ago, a church friend asked what I wanted for Christmas. I always wanted a pair of riding boots. Somehow, someone overheard and told my husband who surprised me with a pair for Christmas Day! 🙂

  • Lorna Seilstad says:

    Shannon, thanks for having me! And I just loved reading, as Shannon would say, “all y’alls” surprises. My biggest surprise was probably when I came home from a week and half long trip to find that my extended family did a “make over” on my house. I’d already picked colors and was planning to paint, and they had painted every room on my list!

  • Dianna says:

    The last time I was surprised was just before Christmas. My husband had surgery, and I stayed with him in the hospital to help him. Our children stayed with my sister-in-law, who offered to keep them an extra night when we finally got home so that we could actually rest.

    When we arrived home, exhausted and with my husband barely able to walk unassisted, we came into a spotless home. Now, I have 2 kids. My house is NEVER clean (just appears that way because I hide the visible dirt.) While we were gone, my sister in law brought the kids to our house and they all worked together to get it sparkling. It was so wonderful to rest, knowing there was no laundry to fold or sheets to change.

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